Just Write

Making Kindness The Norm

Did you know . . . November 13 is officially World Kindness Day? I just heard about this, so I researched: “The purpose of World Kindness Day is to raise awareness of acts of kindness in the community, emphasizing the power of positivity and the compassion that unites us all. A fundamental aspect of the human experience, kindness transcends racial, religious, political, gender and geographical boundaries.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Every Day were Kindness Day! Let’s make it happen! Please go to Marlene Cullen’s Write Spot Facebook Page and add your ideas on what we can do to Be Kind. Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has ideas on how we can “make kindness the norm.” Thank you, Diane D. for letting me know that November 13 is World Kindness Day!


River Walk

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. River Walk By Cheryl Moore As its tides ebb and flow following the moon’s journey across the sky—egrets, herons, sand pipers wade in the shallows on muddy banks mallards, coots, grebes paddle in the river flow, a night heron rousts on a birch tree branch.   In the distance fog slowly evaporates revealing the huge hump of Sonoma Mt its golden slopes patterned with dark green trees.   To and from my river walk I meet and greet dog walkers at Wickersham Park I pause to watch a dog sprinting after a ball his human has thrown he leaps in the air—a spirit of joy.   The park’s stately trees seem to smile to see such active exuberance.   Cheryl Moore grew up in the mid-west, went to college in San Francisco, then lived in foreign…

Guest Bloggers

Cavorting With Words

Guest Blogger Grant Faulkner: Since it’s National Novel Writing Month, I wanted to share my thoughts on the creative process that is at its core: writing with abandon. This is a reprint of an essay that originally appeared in Poets & Writers. A few years ago I grappled with a simple question I had never before bothered to ask myself: Did I decide on my writing process, or did it decide on me? Despite an adult lifetime of reading innumerable author interviews, biographies of artists, and essays on creativity, I realized I’d basically approached writing the same way for years. And I didn’t remember ever consciously choosing my process, let alone experimenting with it in any meaningful way. My approach formed itself around what I’ll call “ponderous preciousness.” I’d conceive of an idea for a story and then burrow into it deliberately. I’d write methodically, ploddingly, letting thoughts percolate, then marinate—refining…


Enduring Awe

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Enduring Awe By Karen FitzGerald What brings me joy? Riding my bike brings me joy. The wind in my face on a warm day, sailing through traffic jams piled up at those long, stop lighted intersections like Farmer’s Lane and Highway 12. I love it. I always feel child-like when I’m riding my bike. Recently, I’ve taken to singing while I cruise. Not too loud, but loud enough to feel the vibration of my voice ripple through my body, from throat to sternum to stomach and right on down my legs to my ankles as I pump my way up the Chanate hill. I especially love going off trail. That is, I am not a mountain biker. Oh no. Too hard on the back. In fact, any more I’m thinking mountain biking people are not fundamentally joyful people….

Guest Bloggers

Creativity Is A Practice

Suzanne Murray writes about the rewards of engaging our creativity. There is a growing awareness that creativity is a capacity that everyone has, though they may not understand what is involved in accessing it. One of the main things that gets in the way of people embracing their creative gifts is a belief that creativity should be easy; that it should just flow out. They think they should be good at it immediately. If they are not and it’s not easy, there is a tendency to think there is something wrong with them and it’s never going to work. Yet creativity in whatever form you choose to pursue is a complex process that actually asks a lot of us. This is why is feels so good to engage since it helps us discover that we are capable of more than we thought possible, including working from expanded abilities. It is…


Listcicles . . . Prompt #762

Thank you, Deb Fenwick, for introducing the word and concept, Listcicles, to me. . Make a list of things that you did for the first time, or the last time you did this thing. Use one of those responses for your freewrite, or write a listcicle. “Listicles (also known as “list posts”) are articles that are written in a list-based format. The most common form of listicle is a short list of 10-20 items that are based on a specific theme. However, modern listicles are often enhanced with additional information around each item to make them more useful.” Wikipedia Make a list and just write! The first time I . . . Or, the last time I . . . Played hopscotch Watched my mother put on make-up Decorated a Christmas tree Stayed up late for New Year’s Eve Cleaned house Babysat Read Wizard of Oz Read Nancy Drew Read “Choose…

Book Reviews

Party Like it’s 2044

“Party Like it’s 2044: Finding the Funny in Life and Death” by Joni B. Cole. Reviewed by Tracy Wood Here’s to another great collection from a gifted story teller! Joni Cole’s essays are a cross between David Sedaris and Kelly Corrigan. Whether she’s sharing tales of coffee mishaps on airplanes or weird encounters in public restrooms, Joni captures the humor and humanity in everyday adventures.  Joni’s stories offer a break from the daily news headlines that compete for doomiest and gloomiest. Funny but never trite, her deeply personal narratives reveal universal emotions: embarrassment, nostalgia, misunderstanding, and even love of cute animals. Many chapters had me laughing out loud, and they all offered some  tidbit worth remembering! I will return to these essays like I would a favorite pair of shoes. Tracy often suggests Joni’s books on writing to her students. Tracy Wood is a former Marine and retired secondary English teacher. She…


Use these words, playful or silly . . . Prompt #761

Sometimes we can be playful or silly with our writing. Sometimes we’re serious with our writing. You decide: Serious, fun, silly. Just Write! Use these words in your freewrite: Corral                    Cobweb Safari                     Rainbow Betray                    Feather Nest                       Plaid Beloved                 Kittens


The Sleeping Lady

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. The Sleeping Lady By Tina Deason The earth in its dormancy is like a sleeping lady. Her make-up: the leaves, the flowers, and the vines, are washed away and her naked face is revealed. And like a sleeping woman, one can see the radiance that glows from within. Without the outer adornment, we see that beauty is skin deep. . . the bark on the trees, the moss on the ground, and the rosehips clinging to the bushes. All that was hidden or silently forming is now exposed. We find glory in the structure and smell the scent of Nature’s Night Cream wafting through the air. Without the blanket of sunshine, we realize the bareness of earth’s body, with angles and curves we neglected to see before. Now we reach out to caress them and notice…